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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review of Sunday's "Loving Uncles" Event

Every once in a while, I get surprised in a wonderful way. My intuition tells me that I'm having a really good idea, but the logical side of my brain doesn't agree. I really need to trust my intuition, every time.


I was actually afraid to click the "Send" button when I sent this out, two days before the event - My logical side kept trying to stop me with doubts. As always, I was right to do it, because of what happened.

The six young men who attended were as happy, secure and serene as I have ever seen them. The men who showed up in support showed every sign of being proud, supportive, affectionate and approving "Loving Uncles", as I had invited them to be in my original message.

Jay and Snowy the bootblack

This is what I told our rising young stars afterward:

Yesterday's event turned out much, much better than I expected, and I was thoroughly gratified. I got to see you and your peers surrounded by an affectionate swarm of older men who wanted to express that you are valuable to us all. 
I counted 42 men who showed up specifically for this event, on that dinky-ass, noisy patio, passing in and out as the hours went by. I'm sure that many more would have loved to be there, but it was awfully short notice, based on a sudden whim. I will be much more intentional when planning the next one. 
The main point is that you are clearly being treasured for being the kind of men that you are.  Back before you were born, this is how things used to be - many of us took responsibility for each other's success and well-being because it was the right thing to do. It was just what good-hearted men did. There was an ongoing cycle of mentoring and support between the generations.   
Then, catastrophically, for a long time, things broke down really horribly.  Events like this one tell me that we have come roaring back as a community.
Based on my observations, things are spiraling and accelerating in an upward direction. As we add more men of good intentions of all generations, more men of each age-group feel welcome when they see the pictures that document our successes.  You men are crucial to the process, because when younger men see you guys so happy, secure and respected, it makes it a lot easier for them to get over their prejudices and presuppositions. Nowadays, they can't WAIT to get on the FMSD list. 
The hardest part for me has been in convincing the older guys to come back and start investing in the community again. We've had our own prejudices and presuppositions. My age-group and older hasn't felt valued, or welcome, and frankly, the majority of that is our own damn fault. We went into Grieving Mode, withdrew into our comfort-zones, and never got around to getting out of it.  Now, we are coming back, being the Loving Uncles that we were born to be, and being there for your generation. 
When I started FMSD, I had a lot of ideas about what our community needed, but I can definitely say that yesterday's poorly-planned, impromptu, random-ass event really filled-in every single item on my internal checklist.  It would NOT have been even one percent as wonderful without you men there. 
I can't wait to start planning the next one!
Dizzy in a contemplative mood, looking handsome and cruisy!

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